PERTH AMBOY — Schools Superintendent Janine Caffrey played hooky from a special Board of Education meeting so she could sail aboard the Cornucopia Princess during a political fundraiser for Mayor Wilda Diaz.
The session she skipped was held to discuss Caffrey’s job performance evaluation.
Board members voted 6-0 at the special meeting to adopt a negative evaluation, which will remain confidential because Caffrey had not requested a full disclosure despite her rhetoric to the contrary in advance of the session.
Besides Caffrey, three board members were also absent from the meeting: Kurt Rebovich Jr., Dianne Roman and Mark Carvajal.
Board members voting to adopt the report include president Samuel Lebreault, vice president Kenneth Puccio, Milady Tejeda, Obdulia Gonzalez, Janelle Rodriguez and Israel Varela.
Caffrey filed ethics charges with the state School Ethics Commission against five of the six members that voted to suspend her in an apparent effort to diminish their credibility after they sought her removal.
She also hurled numerous complaints and allegations against board members in a video posted on YouTube, in which she is interviewed by Choice Media TV, a secretive non-profit waging a propaganda war against public schools in America.
Posing for pictures at the event with the school administrator was Councilman Kenneth Gonzalez, a former municipal Republican chairman who was school board president and close ally of ex-mayor Joe Vas. His wife is currently seeking election to the Board of Education.
Caffrey’s executive secretary, Lisa Rebovich, is the mother of school board member Kurt Rebovich Jr., who also appears smiling in pictures taken at the political event. It was unclear whether the political event was attended by Carvajal or Roman, who was city business administrator under Vas and is currently employed in the Diaz administration.
While the evaluations were confidential, NJTODAY.NET has learned that at least one board member requested that Caffrey get a psychiatric evaluation.
The New Jersey School Boards Association coordinated the superintendent evaluation process based on district goals and on the job description for the position, which states: “The Superintendent shall be accountable to the Board of Education for functioning in accordance with statutes, code and Board policies, the Superintendent’s job description and mutually agreed upon annual performance standards.”
Performance measured in the evaluation is rated as ‘commendable,’ ‘meets expectations,’ ‘needs improvement’ and ‘unsatisfactory’ while ‘not observed’ indicates that a board member does not have enough personal experience to make a judgment.
At a board meeting in July, Rebovich made a motion to terminate the board’s contract with the Machado Law Group, whose principal, Isabel Machado, is a witness against Caffrey in the case to fire her pending before an Administrative Law Judge.
Rebovich also demanded that Machado provide a written explanation about her relationship with an NJTODAY.NET journalist after a news report surfaced about Caffrey’s attempt to cover up the sale of alcohol at Richardson School.
The email suggesting that the board attorney shared confidential information with this newspaper gave Machado 48 hours to respond and it was sent to every school district employee. The board member subsequently apologized “to all parties inadvertently effected by the email including Ms. Machado.”
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